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LG cracks down on counterfeit headsets, wins $168 million

Seventeen defendants were found liable for manufacturing/distributing/selling knockoff LG Tone headsets.

Josh Miller/CNET

It's never a good idea to be a counterfeiter.

LG was just awarded $168 million in damages by a federal court after suing 17 different firms that were responsible for manufacturing, distributing, trafficking and selling knockoff LG Tone headsets, the company said in a press release.

Fake electronics can be problematic for manufacturers. Not only do counterfeits take away potential customers, they can ruin a brand's reputation if the quality is poor. LG has stated that it has a strict zero-tolerance policy against counterfeiters, but this legal offensive is likely to send an even clearer message to the bustling knockoff trade.

The LG Tone Infinim HBS-900 (pictured above) is one of many headsets in the Tone line.


The court case was filed last year and LG originally asked for $200 million in damages. Although LG was awarded less than the asking amount, the company's win is nothing to scoff at. LG claims that this lawsuit has shut down a sizable portion of the counterfeit products being sold in the US. After the victory, LG released a statement saying that it wasn't letting up on the war against fakers.

"While we can declare victory in this latest battle, we will remain vigilant," Chang Ma, the president of LG Electronics Mobile USA said in the statement. "We will not let up; those who choose to make and peddle counterfeits, knockoffs and look-alikes can expect aggressive legal action."

The LG Tone headset line has seen iterations through the years. At CES 2017, we got a look at the new LG Tone Studio, a speaker that you wear around your neck to get surround sound audio. Although LG did not announce the specific models affected by the counterfeit manufacturers, it hopes that knockoffs don't ruin the experience for a few unlucky buyers.

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